Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Mum on the Run - excited to announce that I am fronting the new campaign for Pavilions shopping centre, Birmingham

Way back at the end of July, I was working at a style evening with Hobbs at Pavilions shopping centre in Birmingham. I recognised two of the ladies there as having been the stars of the Pavilions Birmingham campaign, which had run a couple of months or so before.
Instead of opting for models to showcase fashion available at Pavilions, the centre instead asked local successful business women to front the campaign. I thought that it was great – real women with inspiring stories from our fabulous City. It was great to hear about their experiences, about being styled and being models for the day – something which they would normally never have had an opportunity to do. 

A few weeks later, I was driving along when I received a phone call from Pavilions.  Despite the noise of the 500 (or so it felt) children in the car, I understood the gist of what they were saying, which was this: would I like to be both the ambassador of, and the stylist for, the next Pavilions campaign.

My first reaction was “Why me?” but I didn’t say that in case they said “Good point, let’s leave it here. Bye.” Instead I agreed to go for a meeting thinking “Count me in!!!”

It wasn’t as if I needed to be told anything more to seal the deal but finding out that I was to spend a day choosing 8 outfits from the stores within Pavilions, and then another day being photographed in them, was all I needed to hear!

Now, I’ve never had illusions of being something that I’m not but the whole idea of shopping for a day and then being treated to a photo-shoot with a professional hair and make-up artist sounded like a nice distraction from every-day life - particularly as it was nearing the end of the summer holidays!

I approached the shopping day with military precision.  I had lists of the trends that I wanted to include, the looks that I wanted to embrace, the age bracket to which I needed to appeal, the mix of the brands to be included plus many other things beside.  By and large it went according to plan – and anyway, as a stylist, thinking on your feet and reacting to what’s available is a good thing!

The following day I found myself in a very desirable part of Birmingham, standing outside an industrial building staring at a metal door with no-one else in sight. I persuaded the taxi driver to stay with me until someone else arrived, knowing that although I was probably only a few miles from home, I didn’t know in which direction that was.

Anyway, the team started arrriving and the taxi driver left me to it. The photographer’s studio was amazing – it covered the whole floor of this largely deserted building. It reminded me of the warehouse that the actress lived in, in the film Flashdance! So cool!

During the course of the day there were many outfit changes, many set changes, many changes of pose and of make-up. Inevitably some outfits worked better than others (and one or two I have since bought)! There was also the vlog to film.  Standing in front of a camera talking about clothes, trends, accessories and fashion in general, with a whole room of people looking is slightly unnerving but everyone was so supportive, even when I did refer to horizontal stripes as vertical ones! CUT! For anyone wanting to see the vlog, you can do so here (you cannot imagine how fast my heart is beating as I type this)!

Afterwards I had shots to approve or reject (only one was rejected outright – bad idea for a shot on my part) press releases to approve, a blog post to write , a list of style tips for each outfit and there will be interviews to give and an event to attend. The world of media is pretty foreign to me but the work that goes into these campaigns is amazing.

But here are a selection of shots from behind the scenes.... 

...and also from the campaign itself

This was a smart work look, with the whole outfit being from Hobbs. The trousers are amazing! A lovely stretch fabric with a high waist and flare at the bottom - comfortable and flattering.

A Hobbs shift dress - so easy to wear it's ridiculous!

Tapping into the Heritage trend with another Hobbs dress and shoe boots from M&S (probably some of the most comfortable high heels I have ever worn).

Wearing a digital print pencil skirt and cardi with sequin Peter Pan collar, all from M&S, as were the shoes (I love the heel on these - high but sturdy). The belt is from H&M.

Well, you can't be a "Mum on the Run" and then not design an outfit you could run in! Going for an every day layered look with H&M shirt, M&S sparkly knit, cream H&M jacket and M&S trench coat. The jeans and bag were from H&M and the brogues from Hobbs.

The dress on the campaign shot is from Monsoon,the shoes are from M&S and the bag and necklace, are from H&M.


I would like to say a special thanks all the team that put this together for Pavilions, to Paul and Emma at S&X [and especially to Emma for holding my hand throughout the process without making me feel like an idiot], Carol the make-up artist who made me look much better than I really do and who so delicately handed me a tissue to sort out my runny nose [it was cold in that building I can tell you] Paul the photographer and Simon for not making me feel too self- conscious and Christie, the runner,for keeping us fed and watered! It has been an amazing experience and I only hope that I have done Pavilions justice!